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Recycling banners to bags

Graphics | November 1, 2011 | By:

The project. The Centre for Digital Media at Great Northern Way Campus, Vancouver, British Columbia, wanted to revamp its appearance and replace the graphic banners adorning the building’s exterior.

The companies. Ampco Grafix, Coquitlam, British Columbia, the company that tackled the original installation in 2007, was brought on board to handle printing, material sourcing, banner removal and installation. Lara Piscioli of MCM Interiors conceptualized the design in 2007. Kristin Dyer of Massif Creative once again designed the graphics. Common Thread Co-op was commissioned to transform the old banners.

The task. In addition to printing and installing graphic wall murals inside the center, the Ampco team needed to remove and replace 18 architectural backlit banners—each measuring 7.5 by 22 feet—on the building’s exterior. The old banners were to be repurposed into hand-sewn bags.

The challenge. Although this was the second time around, the project was not without challenges. Ampco had to source all the necessary hardware for installation. The old banners needed to be thoroughly cleaned before they could be recycled.

The solution. Ampco used a combination of stock aluminum extrusions to build out the existing frames and mechanical attachment via screws and 3M tape. For the banners, the team selected Ultraflex Ultralong Four for its outdoor durability and backlit capacity. The graphics were printed using a Vutek 3360 printer and 3M solvent inks. In all, the 2,970 square feet of vinyl took more than six hours to print, more than eight hours to finish, and two days to install. As for the old banners, it took more than nine hours to manually wash them.

The result. The Centre for Digital Media was satisfied with the renewal of the façade graphics, and the old banners were repurposed into 392 bags.

Mara Whitten is a freelance writer from Eagan, Minn.

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